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DISH, DirecTV Prepared for Must-Carry
Posted 10 December 2001 - 11:46 AM
EchoStar and DirecTV expressed disappointment with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to keep must-carry rules for satellite TV intact, but the DBS providers promised they will comply with the regulations.
The must-carry rules, which require satellite TV providers to carry all local stations in the markets they serve, kick in Jan. 1.
EchoStar spokesman Marc Lumpkin said the appeals court decision handed down Friday "is a tremendous loss for consumers and competition to cable in small and mid-sized markets because it limits the ability of EchoStar's DISH Network to expand local TV service via satellite in more than the current 36 cities we serve today."
He added that EchoStar will be ready for the Jan. 1 deadline, and that the company doesn't anticipate removing any channels in the cities its DISH Network DBS service serves today.
Lumpkin said the appeals court decision underscores the need for speedy approval of the proposed merger between EchoStar and DirecTV parent Hughes Electronics. "By combining our satellite spectrum and resources, we will deliver local TV channels into over 100 metropolitan areas, which will reach about 85 percent of the U.S. households while complying with the full must carry rules," he said. "This is the only way to offer true competition to cable."
DirecTV spokesman Bob Marsocci said the company is disappointed with the appeals court decision, but with the successful launch and deployment of DirecTV 4S, the company's spot-beam satellite, "we are fully prepared to meet must carry on Jan. 1.
"In fact, we plan to begin offering additional local channels in all of our local channel markets by the end of this year," Marsocci said.
"However, the court's decision is a tremendous loss for consumers and competition in small and mid-size markets because as we have previously stated, must-carry limits our ability to rollout local broadcast networks in additional markets," he said. "We are still reviewing the details of the decision, and are exploring all of our business and legal options."
From <a href="http://www.skyreport.com" target=none>SkyReport</A> (Used with permission)
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Posted 10 December 2001 - 02:17 PM
I don't know about the rest of the markets, but it seems that DirecTV is ahead of Dish Network when it comes to having agreements to add most of these must-carry stations. I have heard from DirecTV that they would offer WB, PBS, WTBU 69, AND UPN for the Indianapolis DMA. There are probably a few more, but those are confirmed according to email responses I've gotten back.
Posted 10 December 2001 - 07:33 PM
Well for most part the agreements are with PBS stations.
Almost half of the stations from Phil. DMA that requested carriage I know of are just public TV stations! Same with Wash DC DMA.
WHYY, NJN, WLVT, WYBE -all public TV stations, all have pledge drives.
remaining WPHL (WB), WPSG (UPN), WGTW (Ind.), WWSI (TEL), WFMZ (Ind.)
Dish Network has refused to carry WLVT 39 (PBS).
Both Dish and DirecTV have committed to carry WHYY 12 (PBS) and WPHL 17 (WB).
I dont know about Dish & NJN, but DirecTV has committed to carry NJN also.
I believe neither provider rejected WPSG 57 (UPN). If Dish or DirecTV did reject UPN 57, I'd find that stuppid...
Now Philadelphia DMA has a smaller Hispanic population than most big markets, and Phily has a low DBS penetration rate. WWSI's DBS number of viewers will be very small with combination of both of those, but technically they are allowed to get on satellite.